Proposed Program May Benefit Addiction Treatment
City council officials will vote next month on a proposal to establish a needle and syringe exchange program.
Many healthcare officials have stated that the state's opioid crisis may be a contributing factor to the increases in communicable diseases.
Some local government officials have voiced concerns over the needle exchange boxes, but its supporters believe that the program will allow clean needles to be distributed and serve as a resource for people with substance use disorders who would like to transition to addiction recovery.
Former President Barack Obama passed legislation in December 2015 that allows federal funding to be directed toward syringe exchange programs.
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Act 40 into law last year, which allows for Louisiana cities and parishes to establish syringe exchange programs. Three programs are currently located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, according to the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that there were 1,120 HIV cases among adolescents and adults in 2015. Approximately 8 percent of transmissions were due to injection drug use.
City council members will vote on the proposal on November 13.